Friday, July 20, 2012

Some ramblings for Friday 20th July

I think I'm getting sick. My head is full of cotton mush.

I take the opinion that games should never, ever force a story on the player. Either the story occurs concurrently to gameplay, or exists as something the player can elect to explore as an aside, or if it absolutely can only be told with a cut-scene [I call that the lazy option] at least be skippable or very very short. The worst offenders are games that open with a solid 10-15 minutes of unskippable story bullshit, while you are sitting there, controller in hand, waiting patiently for the game to let you play it.

I am vaguely aware that there exist probably more than a few video game stories good enough to be praised even without the "for a video game" qualifier, but my question in that case becomes; why do they assume that all the people who are interested in hearing this awesome story want to pause the story every five minutes to play a video game? There are already many, many, many media that are far superior at telling stories and don't require you to pass a dexterity challenge to watch the next scene.

Games need to be games first. It's not that video games can't be greatly enhanced with stories, it's that the stories can too easily become a distraction from the game itself, and it's often just not worth it. Many developers seem to even think a story is compulsory; that it's better to have a shitty story than no story at all. The result of this is usually just a flashy cutscene "reward" at the end of each level [as if they assume the gameplay itself is not fun enough to warrant playing on its own].

Feel free to make me care about my avatar and the characters and situations I'm interacting with. I love it when you do that. But if I'm only interested in playing a video game, just let me bloody play the game.

[FYI, Diablo III is my poster-child for everything wrong with story in games these days. I've never seen a company put so much money and polish into something so half-arsed.]

Apparently some bloggers have been talking about attunements in WoW. Because clearly all aspects of the game were better in 2006, even the shitty ones. Yeah, I know, a lot of the inconvenience that makes the world is being eroded, mostly due to demand from an increasingly impatient and entitled playerbase, with the devs trying desperately to reassure them that the colour of their gear should not define their worth as players. But... um, yeah, that's a shame I guess.

I keep having thoughts on how Blizzard could structure their development to better cater to players. Personally I think they are spending too much of their resources on creating structured incentives to push players into the "correct" content. But I also think they might benefit from having a plan for content release which is a bit better thought out than their current "omg get the content out before they all stop playing do it do it now!" plan. Like delaying the Dragon Soul patch to give us a month or two more of Firelands in exchange for two months more of everybody farming Heroic Madness with the 30% debuff [I've had this conversation before].

Recently forum whining cost me sixty thousand gold. I wanted to buy one of those new Yaks with whatever new features they stuck on them for 60k, but forum whining has meant that I now need to buy one for my whole account for 120k.  Thanks guys. Keep up the good work.

I've been pretty burned out on WoW recently. I was thinking of taking up Pokémon again. That game's pretty fun these days.

I updated Star Wars to 1.3 but can't bring myself to play it. It's odd that I like that game so much but don't want to play it. It's good. It's a good game! Maybe I just find it hard to play without a real objective in mind. Maybe it's just where my life is at at the moment that I can't enjoy video games like I used to.

No comments:

Post a Comment